In 2003 I was proud to support the establishment of BEST – the Burma Education Scholarship Trust. I was delighted to hear that we’re about to award the next round of scholarships which will mean we’ve helped over 200 students. It’s a real landmark. We’ve focused on helping Burmese students get the chance to access higher education courses and we’ve been keen to support students who are studying subjects which will be useful for a future democratic society in Burma. We’re an Edinburgh based charity and provide small supplementary grants that allow more students to apply for substantial sponsorship – where an element of some matched funding is a prerequisite.
Aung San Suu Kyi and the democracy movement in exile are adamant that supporting these young students into university is one of the best hopes for Burma’s future. Hopefully by the time our next cohort of students graduate, the situation in Burma will have improved. Next month’s Burmese by elections will provide an indication of whether progress is being made.